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Sunway Education Group CEO Wins UN Women Malaysia Women's Empowerment Principles Award


 Sunway Education Group CEO, Professor Elizabeth Lee, a renowned name in Malaysian private education was celebrated as the award winner in the Leadership Commitment category at the UN Women’s 2021 Malaysia Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awards ceremony. 

The Leadership Commitment category recognises leaders in corporations who have been instrumental in setting strong corporate commitments including progressive policies, regulations or practices that aim to promote gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community. This includes taking on specific roles and responsibilities to promote gender equality within the company and making public commitments or delivering gender sensitive messages to the public.

Professor Lee said, “At Sunway, we take great care to foster gender equality as part of our efforts to build an inclusive work environment. We will continue to advance our efforts, as we believe men and women bring different strengths to the workplace.  

We are committed to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or the UN SDGs, and we especially encourage and promote goals no. 4 – Quality Education, no. 5 – Gender Equality and no. 10 - Reduced Inequalities, through events, campaigns and in all that we do on a daily basis.”

She elaborated, “I am proud to say that at the Sunway Education Group, women make up more than 65 percent of the workforce, including top management roles. To ensure both our female and male employees’ welfare and wellbeing, we have various policies in place including Flexible Work Arrangements for Mothers, Anti-Sexual Harassment, as well as Diversity and Inclusion.  

All of this is possible thanks to the efforts and dedication of my colleagues, who walk the talk fervently, and with the firm support from the Board and Sunway Group Chairman, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah himself, who is a great advocate for education, gender equality, women empowerment and the SDGs. Together, we ensure our workplace is safe, inclusive and empowering for all.”

Professor Lee continuously advocates gender equality among Sunway Education Group’s employees and students, and frequently participates in various local and international forums and conferences related to education, gender equality and women empowerment. 

When Professor Lee first joined SEG more than two decades ago, she had lead the building of facilities for nursing mothers. Today, mothers’ rooms are available at Sunway University and Sunway College, designed and equipped for the comfort of nursing mothers.

She is also the Honorary Patron of the Yunus Social Business Centre at SEG. The Centre’s efforts are focussed on alleviating poverty, reducing gender inequalities and closing the gap on attaining the SDGs through education and enterprise.

Sunway Group, as a whole is committed to an inclusive and progressive workplace where diversity is celebrated with talent policies and initiatives which supports an equitable and safe workplace where employees can thrive and work together.

This second edition of the Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards was presented by UN Women through the WeEmpowerAsia project, for which the European Union is a partner and donor. The awards recognises innovations in the private sector that promote gender equality in six categories: Leadership Commitment, Youth Leadership, Gender-inclusive Workplace, Gender-responsive Marketplace, Community and Industry Engagement, and Transparency and Reporting. This year, the Awards also celebrated SME Champions.

The WEPs is a joint initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact aimed at empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors and outlines seven steps for businesses to achieve that in the workplace, marketplace and community. To date, more than 5,000 companies around the world are signatories to the WEPs, and the Asia-Pacific alone has a total of over 1,500 signatories registered.